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LinkedIn Learning

Motion Graphics for Video Editors: Creating Backgrounds

via LinkedIn Learning


Create backgrounds for video projects using Photoshop and After Effects.

Nearly every video project needs a background, whether it's an elaborate background for a chroma key set or simply a lower third. This course shows you how to create your own still and motion backgrounds using a few simple ingredients: the files that come with the course and from other sources on the web, and the built-in tools in Photoshop and After Effects. No special assets or plugins required! Rich Harrington introduces practical and easy-to-implement techniques that are suitable for video editors of all levels, and can be used to quickly add texture and style to your next project.


  • Welcome
  • What you should know before watching the course
  • How to use the exercise files
1. Background Essentials
  • The role of backgrounds
  • What makes a good background?
  • Achieving proper contrast
  • Unifying the color palette
  • When to defocus
2. Gathering Source Materials for Backgrounds
  • Exporting sources from Premiere Pro
  • Exporting sources from Final Cut Pro X
  • Useful websites for source elements
3. Working with Gradients
  • The Photoshop Gradient Editor
  • Using Gradient Maps in Photoshop
  • Using the Colorama effect in After Effects
  • Using the Tritone effect in After Effects
4. Designing Backgrounds with Photo Sources
  • Defocusing a background
  • Creating a screened area
  • Simplified duotone backgrounds
  • Filtering a background
  • More filtering tips
  • Blending techniques for backgrounds
  • Using patterned tiles
  • Using actions
5. Designing Backgrounds with Video Sources
  • Choosing footage for backgrounds
  • Shooting background plates
  • Stacking footage
  • Blending footage
  • Looping the background
  • An alternative workflow with still images and keyframes: Part one
  • An alternative workflow with still images and keyframes: Part two
6. Designing Backgrounds with After Effects
  • Using the 4-Color Gradient effect
  • Using the Cell Pattern effect
  • Using the Radio Waves effect
  • Using the Fractal Noise effect
  • Using offset techniques
  • Animating shape layers
  • Goodbye

Taught by

Richard Harrington

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